Thursday, September 20, 2018


NFL needs guys like Jerry Kramer

Editor’s note: The weekly “Thumbs Up-Thumbs Down” editorial offers opinions on highs and lows in the news during the past week.

Thumbs up: Jerry Kramer showed Chippewa Valley residents why he would be a great spokesman for the National Football League these days.

The former member of the 1960s glory years Green Bay Packers and a recent inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was in Eau Claire this week as a featured guest of the Junior Achievement program. He talked about his long wait to get into the Hall of Fame, and how appreciative he was of Packers fans who lobbied on his behalf. He even put in a good word for his buddy and Altoona native, the late Fuzzy Thurston, who teamed with Kramer on the offensive line during the Vince Lombardi years. “Fuzz was just like a brother,” Kramer told the Leader-Telegram’s Dan Holtz. “He was just like family.” 

Kramer, 82, advocates for programs like Junior Achievement because he knows young people are our future. Kramer seems like a genuinely good guy who could help the NFL with its image these days. Maybe Commissioner Roger Goodell should give Kramer a call.

• • •

Thumbs down: Get ready for nearly three months of hearing how bad political candidates are from the “other” party.

It began Tuesday night, a short time after the partisan primary polls closed, with “attack ads” in the gubernatorial race. The GOP ad against Democratic candidate Tony Evers may have been the first, but will hardly be the last in what assuredly will be a rush to the Nov. 6 general election filled with negative stories about both Evers and incumbent Gov. Scott Walker. Expect the U.S. Senate race mudslinging to be over the top as well.

What if candidates and their supporters only talked about how they would fix the state’s transportation problems or health care access issues or businesses’ struggles to find workers? What if outside groups could only advocate for a candidate rather than ridicule an opponent? That’s a dream world that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

• • •

Thumbs up: The Community Table called in a celebrity to launch its new youth cooking class this week.

Getting set to celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Eau Claire soup kitchen called on Castle Dettinger, an eighth grader who appeared on The Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” last year, to help educate children from grades K-5 about nutrition and healthy eating. Dettinger and others at the class helped familiarize kids with nutritious vegetables and show young people how to use the veggies in their daily menus. “I hope they learned that vegetables are really good,” Dettinger told the Leader-Telegram’s Lauren French, “and that they can incorporate them into every meal and really learn to love them.”

 The Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market donated the vegetables for the cooking class that allowed Dettinger and his father, Jake, to prepare a colorful meal for young consumers. Bravo to The Community Table for helping to educate our youth.

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